As I scroll through social media, I have found many posts that talk about the difference between religion and sonship.
It feel that it is important, as Christians, that we understand this difference.
Jesus understood that the way we view religion needed to change.
When out with His disciples, they were debating among themselves about who the greatest in the kingdom is. Jesus’ response was very unexpected. He set a child in the midst of them and told them, “Unless you…become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3; NLT).
Of all the examples Jesus could have used, why did He choose to use a child to demonstrate greatness in the kingdom?
Let’s take a look.
Jesus could have used any example of greatness. He could have said that they need to study the Scriptures more, like the Pharisees. He could have told them that they need to give more to the Temple, or tithe more. He could have used any example of religious activity to demonstrate greatness.
But He chose a child.
Here’s why: children are completely dependent upon their parents. Think about it. Children don’t work, so they don’t make money to buy food or clothes. They can’t live alone, because they don’t know how to operate half of the appliances in the house. Or, in Jesus’ time, they don’t know how to deal with things like the lamps and the sacrifices in the Temple. Children are completely dependent.
Jesus is telling us that we need to be the same. We need to become like children in our relationship with God. We need to become dependent on God for everything. We are His children.
Here’s another thought: as children, mom and dad can do no wrong. They are our heroes. Dad can fix anything that breaks and mom can heal any wound. There is no problem too big for mom and dad.
We should come to God with the faith that God can do anything. He truly can, but we have to come to Him with that faith.
We have to come to God, completely dependent on Him and believing that He can do anything.
Just like we used to run to mom and dad whenever we were scared or hurt, we should run to God in the same way. When temptation comes our way, when we screw up, when we fail, when we are hurt, when we are scared or worried, we should run to God, our Father.
My favorite illustration is one by Christian author Ted Dekker. He talks about the fact that God is so big that nothing can hurt Him. God is so complete in Himself, that nothing can detract from God. And since He is complete, nothing can be added to God.
God is mighty and powerful, and nothing can harm Him. Ted Dekker illustrates it this way: imagine you are eating dinner with your Father, God, in His castle. You hear the sound of horses outside and you look out the window and see the enemy surrounding the castle. You point this out to your Father, and He looks and says, “Do not be afraid. They can not hurt us. Come sit down.” You look again, and the enemy is gone. You are completely safe with your Father.
This is how we should view God. Not as a dictator or a bully or brute, forcing us to live a certain way, but we should view Him as our Father, who loves us and protects us. We should run to Him in times of trouble and fear, in times of happiness and joy, in times of heartache and loss. He is our eternal parent, Who never abandons us and loves us completely.
Be blessed, my friends. Turn to our Father and rest in His embrace. It is there that you will find all you need, and rest for your souls.
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!'” (Romans 8:15; HCSB).